American Periodicals in 19th Century: Digital Resources

A number of electronic resources are now available for the study of American periodicals from the 19th Century. Below is a list. Most of these periodical databases (but not all) require subscription access.

  • ProQuest American Periodical Series Online has mostly journals and some newspapers. This large subscription database is available through many libraries. Has searchable transcriptions, highlighted results for many searches, and PDF images of microfilm. See web site.
  • Making of America Journals, a free site funded by Mellon foundation with many journals, more than are listed on title page. This site is associated with the Library of Congress’s Making of America project. See LOC MOA home page for link to browsable list of titles, including popular and influential journals and magazines like Galaxy, Century, Atlantic Monthly, Scribner’s, North American Review, Littel’s Living Age, etc. For searching though, go to MOA Journals site and click Search MOA Journals.
  • Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, a free site which is the public face of the National Digital Newspaper Project (NDNP), a NEH/LOC project that seeks to digitize papers from 1836-1922. At the moment of this writing, the NDNP features papers from 1900-1910 in the following locations: California, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, and Virginia. And, recently, Nebraska.
  • Thomson-Gale 19th Century U.S. Newspapers promises to be a decent new product for libraries. It has InfoTrac interface. Unfortunately, titles are not yet available for this new product. See Thomson-Gale product page.
  • Accessible Archives, a set of CD archives, has the following newspapers and periodicals: The Liberator, Godey’s Lady’s Book, Civil War-era Charleston Mercury, New York Herald, and Richmond Enquirer, 19th-Century African American Newspapers including Freedom’s Journal, Colored American, National Era, Frederick Douglass’ Paper, North Star, and Christian Recorder. See Accessible Archives web site. This project has searchable transcriptions. Digital page images are not available. Some libraries have converted CD text to web sites.
  • Readex Early American Newspapers, Series II, 1758-1900 and Early American Newspapers, Series III, 1829-1922 are the toys that I want. For descriptions with title lists, see here and here.
  • Paper of Record (which offers institutional and individual subscriptions) has a motley selection of U.S. newspapers that includes some 19th Century ones, such as Washington Evening Star, Maryland’s American Eagle and Cambridge Chronicle, Missouri Sporting News, New Hampshire White Mountain Reporter, New York’s MacKenzie’s Gazette Examiner, and Volunteer, the North Carolina Fayetteville Observer and the Ohio Israelite, Pennsylvania’s Lock Haven Express and Sunday Bulletin, and Tennessee’s El Evangelista Mexicano. See Paper of Record USA list. The lists for Mexico and Canada are also quite extensive.
  • Brooklyn Daily Eagle from New York Public Library. A free site for a newspaper that among its many interests is that Walt Whitman was its editor. See NYPL Brooklyn Daily Eagle site.

Another admirably thorough crowd-source and updated list for digital 19C American periodicals (some 18th and 19th too) is maintained by Dr. Molly O’Hagan Hardy, Digital Humanities Coordinator for the American Antiquarian Society, and others. See

A previous list of open-source periodical resources was formerly (?) maintained by Dr. Ellen Gruber Garvey, Professor of English at the New Jersey City University, in association with the Research Society for American Periodicals. (At present, June 2018, that list is no longer available. The final WayBack Machine snapshot dates to November 2017, see

3 Responses to American Periodicals in 19th Century: Digital Resources

  1. lweakly says:

    Hi, Wesley. You should add Nebraska to your Chronicling America list. The LOC has 30,000 images of the Omaha Daily Bee online.

  2. Shirley Soderstrom says:

    I have a monthly periodical titled “Hours at Home” published in NY from Oct 1896. It is in very poor condition. I haven’t been able to find anything out about it.

    • wraabe says:

      Are you sure it’s 1896? Maybe 1869? There was a periodical published by Charles Scribner and Sons between 1865 and 1870 under that title. It was edited by a Protestant clergyman J. M. Sherwood and toward its end by Richard Watson Gilder. If a nearby research library subscribes to American Periodical Series online or HathiTrust access, you can browse more issues. It is briefly described in Frank Luther Mott’s History of American Magazines.

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